What do you do with a broken computer mouse? Or anything else that plugs into the computer, for that matter?
Throw it away? Toss it into a cupboard and forget about it?
Hold your horses!
Don’t just toss it, cannibalise it!
Unscrew screws, cut wires, take stuff out that you can use (and drop off any leftover metals at your nearest recycling point!). Just be careful if you’re playing with anything that might hold an electrical charge, and watch for sharp edges.
Amongst a heap of broken computer stuff I was given for crafting with, was a broken card reader (I think that’s what it was anyway!) Basically a bit of plastic with a bit of circuit board inside, attached to a USB plug.
I wanted to make something with a more masculine edge to share with you here, so this is what I came up with:
As I happened to have a necklace with multiple strands of ball chain, I took a strand off to use for this craft :)
Of course I have a tutorial for you too. So if you’re looking for a little inspiration or what to know how to make one of these USB and circuit board necklaces.
Broken USB device (or a damaged USB cord!)
Piece of circuit board (from the device or elsewhere) cut to size and drilled with hole if necessary
4 Jump rings
Flat nosed pliers
Round nosed pliers
1. Chop the plug off the USB device, as close to the rubbery surround as possible.
2. Cut a piece of wire approx 25cm long.
3. Bend one end of the wire around round nosed pliers.
4. Wrap the longer end of wire around the shorter end to make a bail, and cut any excess from the shorter end.
5. Bend the wire around the top of the USB plug. Try to get it into the little grooves in the rubber for added stability. Make sure the bail is at the back of the plug, and bend the other end of the wire around it.
6. Wrap the rest of the wire around the top of the plug until it’s completely covered and fits securely.
7. Cut off any excess wire and bend the end into the wrapped wire so that it won’t scratch.
8. So far, it should look like this! You could thread it onto a chain and finish here, or continue with some circuit board...
9. Open a jump ring by twisting it sideways with flat nosed pliers.
10. Slide the circuit board onto the jump ring and close the jump ring firmly.
11. Add the circuit board to the chain. Either attach the USB plug with a jump ring, or thread the chain through the bail. I opted for a jump ring to give it a more uniform appearance.
12. To finish, attach a clasp to the ends of the chain, using jump rings.
Wear it yourself, or give it to your favourite computer genius :)
Jazz up the circuit board and plug with some rhinestones or other embellishments.
Instead of a broken USB plug, use a USB drive. If you’re making it for someone as a gift, you could load it with a message, videos, or pictures.
Spray paint the plug a different colour.
Will be linking up to the parties listed below!